by Joan Kiley
The onset of February was a stark reminder that we are at mid-winter. The Moon, Mercury and Neptune were all huddling together in early Pisces, and the only other major aspect was the cardinal T-square with Pluto/Venus conjunction opposing Jupiter and squaring Uranus. Potent, tense, spare were the interactions between planets. And we all might well have felt like we’d prefer to spend time alone or in meditation. If so, that could have been your best plan for doing what needed to be done.
People did find reasons to celebrate: Punxsutawney Phil or the Superbowl or the pagan holiday of Imbolc. But for many, this mid-winter time is for going inward, for quietness, for allowing the inner alchemical vessel to transform the heart and soul into new form. The planet Mercury was only too ready for our mind to be present for this inner work. The shadow side of a Mercury/Neptune conjunction can be a need to escape, particularly with the intensity of a cardinal square. Thus it was sad, but no surprise, to see the news on February 2 of a famous actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, having died of an overdose of heroin in his New York apartment.
Mercury remains close to Neptune the first week of the month as it slows to station. It was extremely important to pay attention to your intuition and information that may have come from meditation and dreams. That information could give you clues as to what needs to be attended to during the coming retrograde period. At 1:44 PM PST on February 6, Mercury stationed retrograde at 3 degrees of Pisces. Neptune was at 4 degrees. This very close relationship could manifest as some serious daydreamy mind fog. Be patient.
As Mercury starts its 3-week retrograde period, the Taurus Moon opposed Saturn in Scorpio, and both were square to Sun in Aquarius, delivering both a fixed T-square and a cardinal T-square in the sky. The Moon moved on quickly and by the 10th it will join Jupiter in its own sign of Cancer, increasing the water signature of the chart and therefore our collective and individual emotional needs.
With Mercury in Pisces we can be distracted easily during this early part of the retrograde, so it is important to focus, and remove any tempting side activities during work hours if you are serious about accomplishing your designated tasks. It is a period for reflection, for spiritual insight and healing, so you might want to make sure you set aside time for that during your non-working hours. Pay attention to your physical and emotional body with exercise and release. Mental clarity may not come until at least the end of the month, or even later, so handling your energy with care this month is a must. Assist by acknowledging and letting go of excess tension.
The New Moon on January 30th began a lunar cycle that will come to fruition on Valentine’s Day. Venus, the goddess of love, was conjunct Pluto on the New Moon and sextile Chiron, and though she has moved ahead a few degrees, will remain similarly aspected on the Full Moon. This means that relationships with those closest to us have taken our attention for two weeks (or longer, given we were in a Venus retrograde period for six weeks prior to the New Moon). And it hasn’t been all lovey dovey. There have likely been interactions that have been upsetting, ones that remind us of past wounding, scenes that show us areas we need to change and be more respectful, of ourselves and others.
The actual Full Moon is at 3:53 PM PST on February 14 at 26 degrees of Leo. Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day and always a good time to acknowledge loving feelings. And Leo does enjoy the grand gesture. However, the Sun and Moon form a T-square with Saturn, which could turn the whole romantic heat down just a notch. Not indicative of a “match made in heaven” unless you enjoy wondering when the next shoe will drop. Mars is 26 degrees Libra at that moment, forming a strong sextile to the Moon and trine to the Sun. Those aspects could definitely be the key to more enjoyment, so check your own chart to see which might be strongest for you! Meanwhile the Pluto/Jupiter/Uranus T-square is still throbbing along as well, so just know this V-day could be somewhat less than relaxed. I’d recommend participating in a “Billion Women Rising” event, so you can dance, sing and clap, releasing some energy into the world for a great cause!
On February 13, Mercury retrogrades back into Aquarius to spend five days conjunct the Sun. This could help us to feel a bit more mentally focused, and able to concentrate on reviewing projects or researching the next chapter of our work.
The Sun moves into Pisces on the 18th, beginning a conjunction with Neptune which continues through the end of the month. This almost continuous emphasis on Neptunian energy during February gives us all time to “tune in” to our spiritual selves, experience our connectedness with all beings and be grateful. This energy can also have a shadow side, which makes us more susceptible to deception or to actually be deceiving. We might imagine things that aren’t, see people or situations in an illusory way, only to be brought to our knees by reality when the fog curtain rolls away. Keep checking in with whatever inner guides have your trust, to be sure of what is real and what is fantasy.
From about the 17th, Venus moves away from the cardinal T-square of Pluto/Uranus/Jupiter, relieving a bit of the tension on our relationships and resources, but still leaving us with the debris from what could have been the wreckage of her retrograde period. Most of us had some moments of discomfort during this last six weeks, lessons learned regarding our values, and what we need to change for us to be truly congruent with our current values. Don’t worry, there’s still some time to put that in order. Venus leaves the shadow of her retrograde on March 4, and enters Aquarius on March 6. She has been in Capricorn since November 5, 2013. I wrote a bit about Venus in Capricorn for the November Astrocycles. If you think she’s been working you over, go back, take a look,still and see if anything rings a bell!
February 18 also brings a change of signs for the Moon’s nodes. The North Node shifts into Libra and the South Node into Aries. This will bring about a waxing conjunction of Mars to the North Node. Will we take action in ways that move us toward a future we will want to live? Interestingly, just as they get within 2 degrees of each other, Mars will station retrograde on March 1. It appears there’s a need to review our plans for action. One can only hope that another review will bring about a denial for the Keystone pipeline. Time will tell.
February 21 brings the Moon into conjunction with Saturn in Scorpio, and both will sextile Venus in Capricorn. A good day for taking steps to bring order to resources and financial matters, as well as meeting with team members on projects up for review. Starting new projects? Not with Mercury retrograde. Keep spirits up and be patient.
The Moon moves into Sagittarius on February 22 and sextiles Mercury on the 23rd. You may be inclined to use the enthusiasm you feel to do something adventurous. Great idea! Go somewhere you’ve never been, try something you’ve never tried, walk a new trail, or try a new food. Could be a bright spot for the winter blahs!
Mars will now be moving toward a square with Venus until the end of the month. It will not become exact before Mars turns retrograde, but because of Mars moving so slow and approaching its station, there could still be a strong effect. Watch the news for issues resulting from resentment and or jealousy. Passions can be high, and fuel ongoing dysfunctional patterns, such as conservative attacks against women or women’s health care. A positive manifestation, especially considering that Saturn is sextile Venus, could be action taken to protect women, or practical steps to relieve a shortage of resources for the poor. This might be most likely as the Moon conjuncts Venus on February 25.
The New Moon in Pisces arrives at 11:59 PM PST on February 28, which means it will be March 1 in most time zones. It is almost exactly trine Jupiter in Cancer, and forms a stellium in Pisces, with Chiron and Neptune. Pluto and Chiron are almost exactly sextile. There’s a very strong energy of empathy with this New Moon, a capacity for experiencing and visualizing the connections we have with all of life. We may be very emotional, feel grief for the suffering of ourselves and others, and yet be able to imagine a better world. With the cardinal T-square, we may also be able to envision ways to actually get there.
See you next month!